Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? This old dog, in all his 62+ years, has never heard an “ice quake” before. Yes. Ice quake. Like an earthquake, ice quakes happen when the weather becomes suddenly extreme in cold. The water in the ground freezes and expands and the dirt around it quakes.
Throughout the night, as the cold air plunged into our town, the house creaked and groaned as wood and plastic expanded and contracted against one another and the ground rumbled. Several times, the booms were quite loud. I kind of figured they were related to the wind, the water, and the cold. I never knew that they had a name, though. Quite interesting.
These conditions are perfect for cryoseism, also known as an ice quake or a frost quake. It’s a seismic event that may be caused by a sudden cracking action in frozen soil or rock saturated with water or ice. With all the rain we had last week, the water drained into the ground, and eventually freezes and expands under these colder temperatures, putting stress on its surroundings. This stress eventually causes popping or thumping sounds that can seem like something hitting your house.
I hope I never have to hear them again. It’s just way too cold!